Choosing Storage

There are many different types of storage. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. How much room will you need to store all your goods?
  2. What is your monthly budget for storage.
  3. Is the storage facility temperature controlled?
  4. Do you need regular access to your goods or will they be stored for a long period of time?
  5. Does the storage facility offer insurance should something happen?
  6. Is the facility secure by means of 24 hour video surveillance, fencing or on site guard?

Once you have answers to these questions it will be much easier to decide which storage option is best suited for you and your household goods.

Below are descriptions of the most commonly used storage options available in Ottawa and Gatineau.

Self Storage:

Self storage is also commonly referred to as “mini storage”. Self storage facilities lease space referred to as “units” or “lockers” to individuals or business. Self storage is cost effect and convenient. The cost of a self storage unit is determined by the size needed to store your goods. They are secured by your own lock and key and are generally accessible 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Self storage facility operators usually provide controlled access by way of a swipe card or key code to rental space areas and many use security cameras. Facility operators do not have casual access to the contents of your space. A self storage operator never takes possession, care, custody or control of the contents of the storage rental space unless a lien is imposed as provided in self storage laws for non-payment of rent.

Many self storage facilities offer heated and non-heated units. Non heated storage units remain ambient to the outside temperature. Non heated self storage units are slightly cheaper than heated self storage units because they use less electricity. Helpful Hint: if storing your goods during the warmer months don’t spend extra money on a heated storage unit. If your goods will be stored over the winter months you may want to consider a heated self storage unit. Heated self storage units commonly use radiant heated. Heat is generated by warming pipes embedded in the concrete floor of the storage unit. Heat then radiates upwards warming the unit. People often think that heated self storage units are heated to room temperature. This is not the case. The temperature will remain only slightly above freezing in cold climates.

Some self storage units are susceptible to pest and rodents. This is often due to rural locations, or poor maintenance of the storage facility. Ask your self storage agent if their facility is pest free or if a pest control program in place.

Self storage locker size guide:

Note: This chart is to be used only as a guide. Not all self storage lockers use the dimensions listed below. Please check with your local self storage facility for more information.

  • 5′ X 5′ (8′ feet high) Self storage locker.This size self storage locker will typically hold a chair, a chest of drawers or dresser, plus small items and moving boxes. Seasonal outdoor furniture, lawn mowers, snow blowers, gardens tools, etc.
  • 5′ X 10′ (8′ feet high) Self storage locker.This size self storage locker will typically hold a chair, a chest of drawers or dresser, mattress set, plus small items and moving boxes. Seasonal outdoor furniture, lawn mowers, snow blowers, gardens tools, etc. Bicycles and/or motorcycles.
  • 10′ X 10′ (8′ feet high) Self storage locker.This size self storage locker will typically hold furniture from an average one bedroom apartment without appliances, also small items and moving boxes or approximately 200 business records or file boxes.
  • 10′ X 20′ (8′ feet high) Self storage locker.This size self storage locker will typically hold furniture from a two bedroom apartment or house with appliances, miscellaneous items and moving boxes or approximately 400 business records or file boxes. You can also store a car or truck and other small items.
  • 5′ X 20′ (8′ feet high) Self storage locker.This size self storage locker will typically hold furniture from an average three bedroom house with appliances, miscellaneous items and moving boxes. You can also choose to store boats, RV’s and some furniture and moving boxes, depending on the height of the storage locker door.

Warehouse Storage:

Warehouse storage is generally safe, affordable, temperature controlled, bonded and secure. Warehouses can range in size from a few thousand square feet to hundreds of thousands of square feet. Most major moving companies or van lines have their own warehouse facilities. This makes storing with your mover more convenient and eliminates the need to shop around trying to find third party storage.

While in warehouse storage your goods will be sealed in pallets or containers. Some movers will load the pallets/containers directly at your home then move them into the warehouse. Other movers will load your goods into a moving truck then drive them to the warehouse where they will be off loaded into pallets or containers within the warehouse. This method may take more time and require more handling of your goods but it has it benefits. Pallets are often made of wood; if they are taken outdoors they can be exposed to the elements (rain, snow, humidity). Moisture intern produces mold and mildew. No one wants a musty smell on their goods and furniture when they’re delivered out.

Warehouse storage can be used short term or long term. Helpful Hint: Many moving companies offer storage incentives to those who store their goods for a long period of time.

When you’re ready to have your goods delivered to your home or office make sure to call your moving company to arrange a delivery out date. Helpful Hint: Summer (April – September) is the busiest time in the moving industry. Book your delivery out date well in advance to avoid complications.

Container Storage:

Flexibility and convenience. These are the two major benefits of using container storage. If you need storage for a few days or even months container storage may be for you. Often times people need a little extra time between homes. Perhaps you don’t have another place to move into just yet or you’re building a new home and your closing dates don’t line up just right or you need extra travel time or your just need storage to prepare yourself. Containers offer the convenience of moving and storage all in one package. No need for unloading, warehousing, off-loading, re-loading.

Containers are large modular cubes constructed of fiberglass and reinforced with steel. Dimensions vary depending on the size of your shipment. They can be load and off-loaded from a flat bed trailer using a forklift or crane. Maintained containers are weatherproof; clean and help to ensure that your goods arrive safe and sound, the same way they were picked up.